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James Willstrop: from career-threatening injury to Commonwealth Games glory

When I was told that my career as a professional squash player could be ended by a hip injury I wondered if I should visit the local Job Centre. Twenty-five years of this punishing sport had taken their toll, but the end was not in sight just yet
• By James Willstrop for the Guardian Sport Network

It’s not unusual, as a professional squash player, to wake up the morning after a week-long tournament and find that walking is hard work. On the Saturday morning after the final of the Canary Wharf Classic in London in March 2014, when the difficulties were slightly more pronounced than usual, I still wasn’t thinking the problem would be significant enough to change the whole outlook of the next year of my life.

There was no snap, no fall and nothing major whatsoever, but this acute-ish hip soreness wasn’t to be another short-term niggle. The mental perspective was about to take a change, and any athlete or amateur whose sporting career has been threatened by injury will attest that is an odd feeling.

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